Flywheel Review (February 2024) – A No Nonsense Review

Are you struggling with web hosting services that can’t keep up with your growing business? Well, you need managed hosting. It doesn’t just take care of your site maintenance but also ensures advanced security, better performance, and easy scalability.

I’ve been testing and reviewing dozens of hosting solutions for the last few years. From Hostinger to Chemicloud, and Cloudways to Kinsta, I’ve reviewed all popular web hosts. After thoroughly testing Flywheel for a few months, today I’m here with the Flywheel Review.

In this Flywheel Review, we’ll talk about Flywheel’s user interface and testing parameters. Then, we will discuss the results of various performance tests conducted on it. Trust me, the speed test results will surprise you!

We’ll also talk about its significant features like domains, security, backups, support, pricing, migrations, staging, and some major features for developers and agencies. Finally, I’ll highlight the pros, cons, and suitable alternatives to Flywheel. 

So, are you ready to discover if Flywheel is the right choice of hosting for you? Let’s dive right in!

Flywheel Review

Kripesh Adwani

Speed
Ease of Use
Pricing
Uptime
Customer Support

Summary

Flywheel offers excellent speeds, uptime, and load management, along with robust security and tools for agencies. It’s a bit expensive, but the advanced features and performance offered by Flywheel make it worth it. I’d love to see improvements in their customer support soon.
Overall, it’s a suitable hosting choice for designers, developers, freelancers, and agencies.

4.3

Disclaimer : I strongly believe in transparency. If you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a small commission without any extra cost to you. This helps me to keep producing honest reviews. Read More >>

Flywheel Review Overview

Flywheel Review Infographic

Speed1 sec (USA)
1.1 sec (Mumbai)
Uptime (last 178 days)100%
PricingStarting $13/mo annually
Free DomainNo free domain
Temporary domain available
Data CentersUS, Canada, UK, Europe, and Australia
ServersNginx servers
Backups and RestorationManual and automated backupsStored for 30-day backupsStored off-server on Google Cloud StorageNo Selective restoration
MigrationsUnlimited free migrations
Email HostingNo
SupportLive chat support, knowledge base, Email tickets
Payment OptionsPayPal, Debit Card
Refund Policy60-day money-back guarantee
FeaturesGoogle Cloud Platform, Flycache, Fastly CDN, Fastly WAF, Staging support, Password Protected Sites, WordPress Blueprints, Flywheel Local, and Flywheel Demo Sites.
Hosting PlansManaged WordPress Hosting and WooCommerce Hosting.

About Flywheel

Flywheel is a managed WordPress hosting provider founded by Dusty Davidson, Rick Knudtson, and Tony Noecker in 2012. Trusted by 35k+ agencies and creative brands globally, Flywheel is an established hosting designed for developers, freelancers, and creative agencies.

Flywheel homepage

Flywheel is on a mission to help its customers win online! It offers Managed WordPress hosting, eCommerce WordPress hosting, WordPress solutions for high-traffic sites, and various add-ons. Flywheel was acquired by WP Engine in 2019.

Flywheel User Interface

The user interface of Flywheel looks pretty neat and organized with a modern touch. The dashboard features a list of your active websites hosted on Flywheel. You can filter the sites, adjust the views, create a new site, and download a CSV file of your website.

Flywheel user interface

If you click on a website from the list, it shows you the overview of your domain, installed plugins, backups, website stats, etc. You can also log in to the WordPress dashboard, and manage collaborators, PHP version, email deliverability, databases, etc.

On the top row, you’ll find options for managing your account, adding sites, accessing add-ons, and more. The bottom right corner features a help button to access live chat support. Overall, the user interface looks pretty easy to navigate and is friendly to beginners.

Testing Parameters

I have purchased the Flywheel WordPress Hosting Tiny plan for $15/month or $150/year and used the following settings on it.

Test website

  • OceanWP WordPress Theme (Elementor-based)
  • Gym template
  • US Servers

Flywheel Speeds

Good speeds are essential for a smooth user experience and higher search visibility. To measure the speeds of Flywheel, I tested it from multiple locations using GTMetrix. Let’s look at the results.

Flywheel speeds - US

When I tested it from San Antonio, USA, GTMetrix reported an A grade score with 99% for performance and 100% for structure. The Largest Contentful Paint was 828 ms, whereas the fully loaded time stood at 1 sec.

Flywheel speeds - India

Surprisingly, when I tested it from Mumbai, India, GTMetrix again reported an A grade score with 99% performance and 100% for structure. The Largest Contentful Paint was 931 ms, and the fully loaded time was 1.1 sec.

I even tested the speeds using CDN and was impressed to receive a constant fast speed from all locations.

Overall, the lightning-fast speeds shocked me. I’ve never observed such swift speeds on any other hosting plan globally! If you need fast speeds across all locations, you should go with Flywheel without a doubt!

Additionally, you can also check out Cloudways and Nestify if you need swift speeds. 

Flywheel Uptime Status

I’ve been using Flywheel hosting for the last 181 days. For monitoring its uptime, I’ve used the Better Uptime tool, which notes the uptime of my website every 30 seconds. The following table displays the uptime status report of the Flywheel WordPress Hosting Tiny plan (US servers).

January 2024100%
December 2023Downtime
November 2023100%
October 2023100%
September 2023100%
August 2023100%
July 2023100%
June 2023100%

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that in the last 181 days, Flywheel has remained up for an unmatched 100% of the time. Similarly, it has been up for 100% of the time in the last 30 days as well. It’s commendable that there have been no downtime incidents so far.

Note: I have an active plan of Flywheel WordPress Hosting Tiny plan. Every month, its uptime will be updated here. 

Overall, I was amazed by the solid uptime performance of Flywheel and hope to see the same continue in the coming months. If your priority is excellent website uptime, you can also check Cloudways, Nestify, Kinsta, or Nexcess hosting.

Flywheel Load Test

To evaluate the load management capacity of Flywheel hosting, I sent out 50 virtual users to my website. They made a total of 9960 requests where just 1 request failed.

Flywheel load test

The peak response time reached 49.33 req/sec, whereas the P95 Response time was as low as 6 ms. This means that 95% of the requests had a response time lesser than or equal to 6 ms. There were no major spikes observed in the response time either.

Overall, Flywheel handled the load extremely well. I would highly recommend this hosting for its excellent performance. You can also opt for WPX, Nestify, or Nexcess if your priority is reliable load management. 

Flywheel Cache

Flywheel has an in-house cache management system known as Flycache. It’s a combination of CDN and full-page caching with intelligent exceptions powered by Fastly. If you want to use a separate cache plugin on your WordPress website, they recommend using the WP Rocket plugin.

Flywheel Data Centers

Flywheel Data Centers

Flywheel features 5 data centers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and the European Union. These cover the major sources of traffic, resulting in improved speeds and performances wherever your audience is located.

Flywheel Domains

Sadly, Flywheel doesn’t function as a domain registration service. So you won’t find free domains or the ability to register domains on this hosting. However, it lets you add a custom domain name purchased from other domain registrars.

If you’re still trying to figure out the perfect name for your website, try these AI domain name generators for some fresh ideas!

Flywheel Demo Site

It also offers a preview URL to view how your website appears to your audience. So, you can create private demo WordPress websites under a Flywheel subdomain. These sites are active for up to 14 days. You can protect them with a password before sharing them with intended users.

This is useful when creating sites for clients. You can share temporary websites with your clients. The changes that you make to it will remain private to you and your clients. So, once your client is satisfied, they can finally purchase a hosting plan to use that website.

Flywheel Backup and Restoration

Talking about backups, Flywheel takes automatic backups every night and stores them for up to 30 days. These backups are stored on Google Cloud Storage in an off-server location. So your WordPress website backups are protected in case of software and hardware failures, site crashes, etc.

Flywheel backups

Flywheel also restricts users from overwriting your WordPress core files. This ensures no hackers can insert malicious code into your site, thus maximizing your WordPress security.

The backups can be downloaded or restored with a single click! You are also allowed to create manual backups whenever you want. Restoring your website is effortless. However, selective restoration options are unavailable. You cannot restore your files and databases separately.

Overall, the backup options of Flywheel are pretty good. I hope they introduce the selective restoration feature soon.

Flywheel Security

You get a range of security features with Flywheel hosting. Let’s look at them in detail.

Flywheel security

  • SSL Certificate – Free SSL certificates from Let’sEncrypt are provided on all Flywheel sites and all plans
  • 2FA – You can secure your account with two-factor authentication. It supports apps like Google Authenticator, Duo, miniOrange 2FA, Jetpack, etc.
  • Fastly WAF – Flywheel’s web application firewall detects all kinds of malicious traffic and blocks them, maintaining website security.
  • Intelligent IP Blocking – It detects any intruders trying to gain access to your site and automatically blocks them for all sites on the server.
  • Automatic WordPress Updates – Flywheel always keeps your WordPress site updated with the latest security patches and version upgrades.
  • Plugin Security Alerts – Whenever a vulnerability is observed in a WordPress plugin, users are updated about it via email. You can then update your plugins to ensure your safety.
  • Free Malware Removal – You can request the Flywheel support team to scan your website and remove any malware from your website.

Flywheel Customer Support

Flywheel offers support via email, live chat, and knowledge base. They have a comprehensive knowledge base of help articles with annotated images covering all the major information.

Flywheel live chat support

The live chat support is available 24/7/265, which is great. I found their replies to be helpful and informative. However, their speed of responding is slightly slow. 

Apart from this, they also have free Design and WordPress Resources. These include ebooks and videos for creative agencies. Overall, I had a superb experience, but I’d love to see an improved pace of support on Flywheel.

Flywheel Pricing

Flywheel offers 4 different plans under its Managed WordPress Hosting service – Tiny, Starter, Freelance, and Agency. The following table compares and contrasts the significant features of these plans.

TinyStarterFreelanceAgency
Monthly Pricing$15/mo$30/mo$115/mo$290/mo
Annual Pricing$150/year$240/year$920/year$2,329/year
Websites111030
Visits5k25k100k400k
Storage5 GB10 GB20 GB50 GB
Bandwidth20 GB50 GB200 GB500 GB

You can choose any of these plans as per your need. Small to medium websites that only need to host 1 website can opt for the Tiny or Starter plans. If you need to host multiple sites and have significant traffic, the Freelance or Agency plans would be suitable for you.

On purchasing any of these plans on an annual subscription, you will get 2 months of free hosting along with your purchase. In my opinion, the Starter plan at $25/month would be the best plan. You can purchase it using my link to avail the best discounts.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that both the Tiny and Starter plans offer 1 website. But when you opt for the Freelance plan, you get 10 websites! There is no intermediate plan for website owners who want to host 3-5 websites.

Flywheel plans

If a small business owner has only 3 websites, they will be forced to pay for the Freelance (10 websites) plan from Flywheel. I think they should introduce another plan between the Starter and Freelancer plans catering to a smaller number of websites.

Overall, I think Flywheel is a great hosting option for agencies. If you want to host 10 or more websites, the Freelance and Agency plans are priced at a good point considering their services and performance.

I hope they introduce an intermediate plan between the Starter and Freelance plans. This would make it a much more viable hosting for small businesses.

Payment Methods

Flywheel supports payments made through PayPal and debit cards. I hope they introduce more convenient payment methods like UPI in the future.

Refund Policy

You get a generous refund policy of 60 days with Flywheel. This is not usually seen on other hosting providers. So, you can thoroughly test out all the features of Flywheel for 2 months. 

If you’re not satisfied and feel like it’s not the right choice for you, you can cancel your subscription within 60 days of purchase and get a refund.

Flywheel Staging

If you wish to test changes on your website without harming the live site, Flywheel lets you create a staging environment. It takes a few minutes to create a staging site and then you can infinitely test different plugins, themes, and coding blocks on it.

Flywheel staging

Once you’re happy with your changes, you can push them to the live environment. You’ll have to enable the “Copy Staging Database to Production” option to replace the live site with the new changes. You can also choose to back up your current live site before applying the changes.

Overall, I found the staging functionality of Flywheel pretty easy to use!

Flywheel Email Hosting

Unfortunately, Flywheel doesn’t support email hosting on any of its hosting plans. It firmly believes in working with the “best of breed” providers and considers itself to be the best WordPress host and not an email host. Thus, they only provide WordPress services.

If you need email boxes for your website, you can purchase them separately from other email hosts, like Zoho Workspace, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, etc.

Flywheel Additional Features

1) Migrations

You get unlimited website migrations for free on Flywheel. It offers two different options for migrating your site. With Self Migrate, you can install a plugin that will migrate your website for you.

Flywheel migration

Alternatively, if you’re not well-versed in the technical aspects of hosting, you can submit a site migration request to the Flywheel team as well. All you need to do is enter the details of your current site, WordPress details, and some additional information before submitting your request.

Standard migrations are free of cost and take up to 3 days. Whereas, if you want to speed up the process, the Expedited Migration costs $49 and transfers your site within 8 hours.

2) Inode Count

As Flywheel plans are hosted on the Google Cloud platform, they don’t have a limit on the number of inodes. It assesses the needs of each hosted site and allows them resources accordingly. 

So, technically, the inodes are unlimited as long as you don’t overuse the resources.

3) Website Stats

Flywheel website stats

The Stats tab shows a graphical representation of the visits to your website. Along with that, it also displays the plan usage details for the number of visits, storage space, and bandwidth consumption.

4) Collaborators

Flywheel collaborators

You can share your account with other users via the Collaborators option. It allows you to add collaborators to your account to perform specific actions like managing a site, restoring backups, etc.

5) Privacy Mode

Flywheel privacy mode

If your website is under development and you don’t want visitors or search engines to view it, you can turn on the Privacy Mode. This will allow you to enable password protection on your site. Users who enter the correct password will be granted access to the website.

6) Flywheel Local

Flywheel Local is a WordPress website development tool for freelancers and agencies. You can simply download this tool on your system and set up a local WordPress environment.

Flywheel Local

Throughout the development process, you can share the link to your site with your clients and keep editing the site. This is a really useful feature for providing a more visual experience to your clients without actually setting up a live website!

7) WordPress Blueprints

WordPress Blueprints allow you to create and save different WordPress configurations for reuse on multiple projects. 

Flywheel WordPress Blueprints

You can save your theme and plugin configurations and use them while building a new site. This is yet another convenient and time-saving feature for developers, freelancers, and agencies.

8) Flywheel Demo Sites

The Demo Site feature helps showcase your website to your clients before transferring them the site’s ownership and billing. 

Flywheel Demo Sites

This tool allows you to create temporary WordPress websites with limited resources. The website is available for free for 14 days and then requires the client to upgrade to a paid plan.

Flywheel Add-Ons

Besides the tools and features mentioned above, Flywheel also features a few free and paid add-ons to increase the functionality of your website. Let’s look at them in the table below.

Add-OnUse CasePricing
Performance InsightsGet website performance metrics and actionable tips.$25/month
Managed Plugin Updates Automatic plugin management and updates.$8/month
Google AnalyticsGet Website analytics and insights to boost business.Free
SlackConnect your Slack account and receive notifications on Flywheel activities. Free

Flywheel Plugin Restrictions

WordPress users know that not all plugins are compatible with each other. Therefore, Flywheel has restricted the usage of a variety of plugins. These include plugins for backups, security, caching, related posts, etc.

According to Flywheel, these plugins cause performance issues or duplicate the functionality already provided by them. So they don’t recommend using them. To know more, here’s the complete list of Flywheel’s Not Recommended Plugins.

Flywheel Pros

1) Lightning Fast Speeds

Flywheel has its data centers in 5 popular countries and employs the Fastly CDN. This ensures Flywheel customers experience lightning-fast speeds irrespective of their geographical location.

2) Efficient Load Handling

While conducting load tests, Flywheel exhibited a stable performance with a low response time, no major spikes, and almost no request failures. Thus, it can handle the load pretty well.

3) Unbeatable Uptime

It’s surprising to note that in the last 6 months of my testing, the uptime of Flywheel has been a solid 100%. There have been no incidents of downtime or outages!

4) Friendly User Interface

The interface of Flywheel is modern in design and easy to use. It features a clean layout with all the options laid out neatly, providing a friendly and hassle-free experience.

5) Features for Developers and Agencies

Flywheel is a feature-rich managed hosting. It offers a range of productive and convenient features for developers, freelancers, and agencies.

Creating password-protected sites, demo sites, local WordPress development, WordPress blueprints, and adding collaborators are some major options available.

6) Excellent Security

With Flywheel, you get advanced security features, including Fastly WAF, free malware removal, intelligent IP blocking, automatic WordPress updates, plugin security alerts, 2FA, etc to secure your website. 

7) 60-Day Refund Policy

You get a generous refund policy of 60 days, which is double the standard refund duration offered by other web hosts. It’s great for thoroughly testing out all the features of your Flywheel plan.

Flywheel Cons

1) No Email

Flywheel does not provide email hosting on any of its plans. So, if you need email inboxes for your team, you can opt for separate email hosting services like Zoho, Google Workspace, etc.

2) Plugin Restrictions

Flywheel has restricted the usage of a variety of plugins as they cause performance issues or duplicate the functionality already provided by Flywheel hosting.

3) Slow Chat Support

The live chat support offered by Flywheel is knowledgeable and friendly. However, the speed of replies can be improved in my experience.

Flywheel Alternatives

1) Flywheel vs Cloudways

Cloudways is a managed hosting provider built upon unmanaged hosts like Digital Ocean AWS, and Google Cloud. Similar to Flywheel, you’ll observe swift speeds, reliable load handling, multiple data centers, and top-notch security on Cloudways.

But unlike Flywheel, Cloudways features simple scaling options, Litespeed servers, a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and an affordable pricing structure.

The pricing plans of Cloudways start from $11/month (DigitalOcean Server). You can use my link and enter the coupon code KRIPESH to get 20% off on your hosting plan for the first 3 months!

2) Flywheel vs Nexcess

Nexcess is a premium managed hosting company that provides swift speeds, excellent uptime, and remarkable load management. It also features unlimited free migration and good security. But it’s expensive and needs to work on improving its support.

But Nexcess marks itself differently by offering auto-scaling options, premium plugins, unlimited emails, and selective restoration. The pricing of Nexcess starts from an elevated price of $21/month.

But if you use my link, you can get the Starter plan for just $13/month. You’ll also get access to premium WordPress themes and plugins like iThemes Security Pro, Astra Pro, etc. with your purchase.

3) Flywheel vs Kinsta

Kinsta is an easy-to-use managed hosting service where you’ll find lightning-fast speeds, excellent performance, and top-notch security. Similar to Flywheel, it also works on the Google Cloud platform, imposes plugin restrictions, and is priced at a slightly expensive point.

Unlike Flywheel, Kinsta features 35 data centers around the globe, hourly backups, and Cloudflare Enterprise CDN for better performance. Kinsta’s Starter plan is priced at $350/year, where you get 2 months of free hosting.

Why should you trust me?

I’ve been working full-time in the digital industry since 2015. In these 8 years, I’ve used, tested, and reviewed some of the best web hosting services like Hostinger, FastComet, ChemiCloud, etc. I’ve also reviewed managed hosts like Cloudways, Nestify, Nexcess, Kinsta, WPX, etc.

Flywheel Reciept

All the reviews are available on my blog and YouTube channel. For this review, I’ve purchased the WordPress Hosting Tiny plan and thoroughly tested it for over 6 months. I’ll continuously be updating the uptime and all the feature updates in this review.

I have about a decade of professional experience in web hosting. Testing different hosting services in the last few years has given me enough expertise to compare and recommend the best one for your requirements.

Conclusion

Flywheel looks like the perfect managed WordPress host for designers, developers, and agencies. It offers excellent speeds, unmatched uptime, and efficient load management. It also offers robust security and a variety of convenient features for agencies.

I agree that its pricing plans are expensive. However, it’s the same when you go with any other premium managed hosting, like Kinsta or Nexcess. I really like this web host. As they’re charging premium prices, I’d love to see improvements in their customer support soon.

If you’re a designer, or developer, or run an agency, you’ll find some convenient and friendly tools to improve your clients’ experience.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this review and found it valuable to understand if Flywheel is the right hosting for you. Which hosting are you currently using? Have you used any managed hosting services before? Would you like to switch to Flywheel? Let me know in the comments.

This is Kripesh signing off. I’ll be back with more insightful reviews. Till then, take care and keep learning. Cheers! 🙂

1) Is Flywheel easy to use?

The user interface of Flywheel is pretty modern and friendly in design. It features minimal options that are neatly arranged and easy to navigate. Overall, beginners will have no problem operating Flywheel hosting.

2) Is Flywheel fast?

Yes, Flywheel offers lightning-fast speeds in all locations across the globe. So, if your target audience resides in multiple geographical regions, Flywheel is the best option for you.

3) Does Flywheel hosting include email?

Unfortunately, Flywheel does not include email hosting. You can use other email hosting providers if you need email inboxes.

4) What are the benefits of choosing Flywheel for my WordPress website?

The biggest benefit of choosing Flywheel is its swift speed. It also offers excellent uptime and load management, a friendly user interface, and a valuable tool for designers, developers, and agencies.

5) What kind of customer support does Flywheel offer?

Flywheel offers customer service via live chat, email tickets, and a knowledge base. The live chat support is very helpful. But they can work on improving their speed.

6) What payment methods does Flywheel accept?

Flywheel supports payments made through debit cards and PayPal.

7) Is there a refund policy?

Yes, you get a generous 60-day refund policy with Flywheel hosting plans. So, you get a complete 2 months to test out the features of your plan. If you don’t find it suitable, you can return it within 2 months and get your money back.

8) Will Flywheel assist me in migrating my site?

Yes, you can either self-migrate your site or ask their team to move your site for you. You simply need to submit a migration request by providing your current site info, WordPress details, and some additional information.

9) What is the right Flywheel plan?

In my opinion, the Starter plan of Flywheel is the most value-for-money plan. It supports 25k website traffic per month, which is suitable for a mid-level site. If you have a professional agency or own multiple websites, the Freelance and agency plans would be a better fit for you.

flywheel

Flywheel Pros (+)

  • Speed
  • Load Handling
  • Uptime
  • User Interface
  • Excellent Security
  • 60-Day Refund Policy

 Flywheel Cons (-)

  • No Email
  • Plugin Restrictions
  • Slow Chat Support
Photo of author

Kripesh Adwani

Kripesh Adwani is a digital tool expert who buys, tests, and reviews SAAS tools for small businesses. Based on 10+ years of experience in tech he provides insightful reviews. His content is widely consumed, serving millions of users each month. Kripesh has also been featured in more than 50 publications, including The Economic Times, The Free Press Journal & Cloudways.

Leave a Comment

We’ve teamed up with Hostinger for a great offer!

Limited Time Offer

Use Coupon Code: KRIPESH